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Taking the Alternative Out of Alternative Care
By Tyson Swigart

Chiropractic care and other forms of "alternative" health practices are integrating with mainstream medicine at an increasing rate according to two recent studies. Thirteen percent of chiropractors in the United States now work in a facility with medical doctors. An increasing number of patients are choosing convenience and "one stop shopping" as they become pushed by demanding schedules and busy lifestyles. Treatments that were once considered outside of the scope of medical practice are now available at numerous facilities throughout the United States, including several in Southwestern PA.

A recent study has demonstrated the need for integrating chiropractic care and other alternative treatments into medical clinics. According to a study in BMC Family Medicine, the inclusion of spinal manipulation services in an integrated setting had a number of benefits. Among these benefits were statistically improved outcomes for musculoskeletal problems and a reduction in medication use. 91 percent of the patients receiving spinal manipulation at an integrated facility said they would likely utilize these services again in the future.

Integration of chiropractic care at Veterans Administration and Department of Defense Facilities over the last 5 years has been very successful according to the journal Military Medicine. Chiropractors at these facilities are so busy that current staffing does not meet demand and additional Doctors of Chiropractic are being added. According to the study "Chiropractors are functioning currently in departments of primary care, physical therapy, orthopedics, sports medicine" and "neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons sometimes request a course of chiropractic care to see if a case will respond to conservative management before planning on surgery." Doctors of Chiropractic at V.A. facilities see an average of 50 new patients a month with 90% having never seen a chiropractor in the past.

42 percent of U.S. hospitals now offer "one or more alternative therapies." If you are one of many who are seeking an alternative to drugs or surgery, but want the benefits of a medical or hospital setting, seek practitioners who have integrated their practices. Numerous options are available in the Western Pennsylvania region.

Dr. Tyson Swigart is founder and owner of Southpointe Chiropractic and Fitness, 673 Morganza Road, Suite 105, Canonsburg, PA 15317. To make an appointment or for more information, you can reach Dr. Swigart at (724) 873-0700.

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